Chancellor Zimpher Leads National Higher Ed Coalition To Support Common Core Standards

June 10, 2014

200 Colleges & Universities From 33 States – Including All SUNY Campuses – Commit to Increasing Student Success through “Higher Ed for Higher Standards”

Albany – State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today joined higher education leaders nationally to announce the formation of Higher Ed for Higher Standards, a new coalition that will serve as a vehicle for mobilizing the sector in support of the Common Core Standards. Two hundred colleges and universities from 33 states, including all of SUNY’s 64 campuses, have signed on to the effort.

“These standards are good for our students, our states, and our country,” said Chancellor Zimpher, who is also chair of the National Association of System Heads (NASH). “We must have students that are college- and career-ready in order for the United States to continue to compete and win in the 21st century global economy. This is a call to action, and I urge my colleagues in higher education to stand up and make their voices heard on Common Core.”

Chancellor Zimpher said that coalition members would work with their K-12 partners and state policy makers to ensure full implementation of the Common Core Standards in order to reduce remediation and improve student success throughout the education pipeline, from cradle to career.

Nationwide, approximately 50 percent of students entering two-year colleges and 20 percent of students entering four-year institutions are diverted into remedial coursework due to lack of academic preparedness. Of those, less than one in 10 graduate from community college within three years and little more than a third complete bachelor’s degrees in six years.

“Remediation slows down student progress and, in some cases, puts a halt to the college experience,” said John Morgan, chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents and vice chair of NASH. “Colleges and universities have been working hard to address remediation challenges. We believe the Common Core standards, with their focus on critical thinking and problem solving, can help improve student success.”

Looking ahead, Higher Ed for Higher Standards members across the states have committed to helping raise public awareness about the importance of the standards and making their voices heard with state policymakers, urging them to stay the course on career- and college-ready expectations.

Higher Ed for Higher Standards is a project of the Collaborative for Student Success, a grant-making initiative created with the pooled resources of a diverse group of regional and national education foundations committed to improving public education (


About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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